Comparison of Two-dimensional MR Digital Subtraction Angiography of the Lower Extremity with X-Ray Angiography1

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To perform a preliminary evaluation of the diagnostic accuracy of contrast-enhanced, two-dimensional (2D) magnetic resonance (MR) digital subtraction angiography (DSA) of the lower extremity by comparison with x-ray angiography (XRA).


Forty lower extremities in 22 patients were imaged at multiple levels with both XRA and 2D MR DSA. Images were retrospectively analyzed by three radiologists in a randomized blinded manner. Seventeen vascular segments were graded as an insignificant lesion, a significant lesion, or as an occlusion. With the use of segments well depicted with XRA as the gold standard, the sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy of 2D MR DSA, as compared with XRA, were evaluated. The McNemar-Stuart-Maxwell test was performed to determine the significance of any differences found.


Three hundred eighty-three arterial segments were evaluated with both techniques. Three hundred one segments were well depicted with XRA. There was no significant difference between 2D MR DSA and XRA for assessing the degree of occlusive disease in these 301 segments (.25 < P < .5). The sensitivity, specificity, and diagnostic accuracy of 2D MR DSA were found to be 90%, 98%, and 93%, respectively.


Two-dimensional MR DSA is an accurate method for assessing arterial lesions in the lower extremity.

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